Philippine economic recovery depends effective vaccination efforts and continued fiscal support
SINGAPORE – The ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) said the Philippine economy is recovering from the abysmal recession in 2020. However, with the resurgence in COVID-19 infections, the recovery can only be sustained with more efficient vaccine rollout and unrelenting infusion of the needed stimulus.
In an online briefing midmorning of Tuesday, AMRO+3 said the country’s economy is up to two main short-term risks, a prolonged wave of COVID-19 infections and potential financial distress in the business sector.
These views are included in the 2020 Annual Consultation Report on the Philippines which was released today. The Report was based on its virtual 2020 Annual Consultation Visit to the Philippines and according to data and information made available up to May 25,2020.
AMRO noted the Philippine economy began to accelerate since Q2 2020, when strict quarantine measures eased. From that time on, the economy gained momentum though significant slack remains which manifested in the high unemployment rate of 7.1 percent as of March 2021. Speedy and robust economic recovery is essential in absorbing displaced workers, but can only accommodate them should the government succeed in containing COVID-19. The economy could fully reopen and business confidence restored with effective vaccine rollout.
The report said the country’s monetary and regulatory policies have been found appropriate as it ensures sufficient liquidity in the financial system. It called on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to collaborate with other government agencies to provide banks with more incentives to increase lending to the business sector, particularly the micro, small and medium enterprises.
Over in Malacañang, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Vaccine Czar and IATF Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez reported they are trying to “build-up” an inventory of 10 million doses for the vaccination campaign to be sustained.
He underscored the need to assure vaccines for the second dose,
“Unless we have that much in our inventory, we cannot guarantee we can accomplish our target of 500,000 jabs per day,” he said. However, he added Pfizer will supply the Philippines with 40 million doses, “the country’s biggest single order.”
Secretary Roque said the delivery may come even earlier. “Sinovac delivery will continue,” he added. He credited China for meeting their delivery dates without any hitch. (Melo M. Acuña)
Some 249,600 Moderna vaccines arrive via Singapore Airlines flight Sunday. (PNA Photo)